Mellon Mays Fellow
Aisha Butt is a native New Yorker who calls the borough of Staten Island home. She is pursuing a major in Anthropology and a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. She is interested in the reciprocal effects environmental protections and local populations have on one another during a temporality of crisis — the Anthropocene. The interdisciplinary nature of her research project draws knowledge from several fields of study such as anthropology, marine biology, ecology, and environmental studies. Through the comparison of an unprotected site and a protected site in Costa Rica, her research project disentangles the competing metrics of success in conservation projects. Aisha hopes to examine whether biodiversity flourishes more in protected versus unprotected areas and to explore how power relations materialize among different players (biologists, conservationists, locals, government, etc.). Aisha enjoys binge-watching Planet Earth, jamming out to reggaeton, or obsessing over the best dessert spots in NYC.